Tuesday, 29 July 2014

BlushBox Review - July 2014 - Intimate Subscription Box

How Much? $27 per month, plus $10 shipping. Save with 3, 6, or 12 month subscriptions. 
What’s in it? Includes sexy surprises like romance enhancers, lingerie, adult accessories, personal play things, bedroom beauty and much, much more.
This is my third Monthly Teaser Box from  BlushBox. If you aren't familiar with BlushBox, it's an intimates subscription box company. They have quarterly subscriptions, as well as lower-cost monthly options. There is the Monthly Teaser Box, which I will review here, a monthly Panty Delivery, a monthly "Toy" Box, and a monthly condom box. BlushBox is "dedicated to helping you embrace your sexy side in a classy, fun and stylish way".

With each of our BlushBox subscriptions, we’ll send you a curated BlushBox that combines fun and fashionable with sensual and sultry surprises to keep you up-to-date on the hottest trends and transform your intimate lifestyle.

As with all my BlushBox reviews, the rest of the post will be visible after the jump. 

Monday, 28 July 2014

Foodie Pages Tasting Box Review - July 2014 - Gourmet Food Subscription Box

This post contains referral links.
What is it? Foodie Pages Tasting Box
How much? $14.95 one time purchase, plus shipping
What's in it?  5 scrumptious tastes from some of Canada's top food makers  

Each month Foodie Pages curates a Tasting Box featuring products from small, independent Canadian food producers. This used to be a monthly subscription service, but due to increasing demand and a growing wait list, Foodie Pages opted to cancel the subscription model in favour of a single purchase model. At the start of each month Foodie Pages publishes the contents of the Tasting Box, then you can chose if you'd like to order it or not. There are only 50 boxes available each month and they often sell out quickly. When I saw the e-mail revealing the July Tasting Box products, I had to sign up.

 First look - Lots of crinkle paper!

Detailed product card.

True first look - Popcorn!

All Mine Caramel - Cayenne Caramel Corn (150g, ~$7.50)
Ontario grown, organic, non-GMO popping corn infused with their handcrafted caramel and the perfect hit of cayenne.  Each small batch is then mixed by hand to create a snack that has it all - sweet, salty and spicy!
This is why I ordered this box. 150 grams of popcorn caused me to sign up! It's sweet and spicy all at the same time. Super delicious.

Mary Macleod's Shortbread Chocolate Crunch Shortbread - (2 cookies, $3)
Handmade in small batches, this sweet delight is created from dedication and quality ingredients—pure creamery butter, premium Canadian flours, and Belgian chocolate.  
These were delicious. Shortbread with little bits of crunchy nougat topped with chocolate. I normally hate shortbread, but I loved these.

The Sweet Escape Patisserie Earl Grey Shortbread (8 cookies, ~$5)
Delicate and delicious shortbread, made with the highest quality ingredients including real butter and fair trade, organic tea leaves.  
I didn't really like these ones. Shortbread is not my fave to begin with, but the flavour just wasn't there. 

Ferme Guy Rivest Cranberry& Strawberry Jam (140ml full size, $3.99)
This jam is a great balance of sweet strawberry and sour cranberry. Use it on toast and croissants, but it’s wonderful with cheeses, pork, chicken breast, and also with fish.
I haven't tried this yet but previously I had the strawberry wine jelly from Ferme Guy Rivest and it was amazing. My family raved about it when I served it with a cheese board.

Chinook Condiments Spicy Chipotle Gourmet Sauce (350ml full size, $7.99)
Dip your pizza crust, dunk your wings and ribs, drizzle over anything BBQ, pizza, fajitas, tacos, chili, cheesy nachos and eggs. Gluten free, preservative free, and its medium heat is safe for Gringos!
I haven't tried this one yet but I look forward to trying it with BBQ chicken. 

The July Foodie Pages Tasting Box included five products, with an approximate retail value of $27.50. There is no apparent theme to this box and it's surprising they included two different types of shortbread. I couldn't find the popcorn or the cookies for sale on Foodie Pages, which was also surprising. Normally the Tasting Box is a way to sample products that are available for purchase through the Foodie Pages shop. I always enjoy sampling the products and I've purchased several full size items through Foodie Pages after sampling. My only complaint with this box is the shipping cost. The Tasting Box used to offer free shipping. It made sense - the idea being that you get a box of sample products and then maybe you go back to Foodie Pages and purchase the full size version. I discovered many products this way and I keep going back to Foodie Pages to purchase them (Manning Canning's Spicy Tomato Jam is one such product). Now with shipping being $10 or more, it's less appealing to purchase a Tasting Box. I kind of feel like Foodie Pages has ruined the entire Tasting Box experience by charging such a significant shipping fee and it's a real shame. It's still a great box if you can swing the cost, just be aware that the value will be pretty equal to what you pay.

What do you think of the products in the July Tasting Box?

If you are interested in the Foodie Pages Tasting Box be sure to sign up for Foodie Pages so you are notified by e-mail when the August box is released.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Paw Pak Review - July 2014 - Pet Subscription Box + PROMO CODE

This box was provided complimentary for review.
What is it? PawPak
How Much? $34.95/month, $29.95/3 months, $27.95/6 months, $24.95/12 months. Free shipping on all plans. Plans automatically renew and you can cancel anytime.
What’s in it? A mix of toys, treats and other goodies for your furry friend

PawPak is a new Canadian subscription service for dogs. Based in Woodstock, Ontario, PawPak is family owned and run by dog lovers. The first PawPak was released in June and featured a fun Canadian theme. When Michael from PawPak e-mailed to let me know he was sending me the July box, he ended the e-mail by saying "I think you’ll really love the theme this month". I LOVE theme boxes and I enjoyed the Canadian themed box so much, I was immediately curious and excited to see what Michael and his team came up with for July.

First look

The theme for July's box is "Cottages! Camping! Cookouts!"  What timing! Jack and all his friends are heading away for a cottage weekend. Maybe some of these treats will come in handy.

Each month PawPak will send "5-7 items designed to make like with your doggy a little easier".  You might receive full-sized bags of treats, high quality toys, poop bags, product samples, hygiene products, doggy gadgets, and other things you and your dog will love. 

Hero Dehydrated Dog Treats 12" Beef Pizzle ($7.99)
Pizzles are always a hit with any dog I know. Hero Dog Treats is a Canadian company founded by a Military veteran. HERO Dog Treats employs only veterans and/or their families, and supports the Canadian Service Dog Foundation!

Northern Biscuit Smoked Fish & Blueberry Wheat Free Treats for Dogs (500g, $9.99)
Northern is a Canadian company that sources their ingredients from Canadian growers and food producers. These biscuits are made from trout, which is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and great for dogs.

Ruff Dawg Flying FISH (9", $16.99)
The Flying Fish is 100% rubber and it floats! Jack is going to love this guy and it will be perfect for playing at the beach.

Earth Rated Poop Bags (2 rolls, $3.50)
One can never have enough poop bags, especially compostable ones from a Canadian company.

Bosco and Roxy's S'mores! (3 cookies, $5.97)
Bosco and Roxy's is a dog cookie company based in London, Ontario. They produce gourmet, hand-cut, baked, and decorated treats for dogs. The designs are amazing and would be a great addition to your next doggy shin-dig. And what's a camping trip without S'mores!?

The July PawPak included 5 products valued around $44.50. The theme for this box is Cottages, Camping, and Cookouts and Michael was right, I do love the theme! It's very creative and all the products chosen fit the theme perfectly. My favourite item is the Flying Fish. Jack loves playing in water and he loves playing fetch. I predict once he gets his teeth on this thing, he won't let it go... and he won't get out of the water. Follow up photos will be posted on Instagram.

If you are interested in signing up for PawPak, be sure to review the FAQ, then grab promo code cdnboxaddict to save 25% off your first month. On a month-to-month subscription, it brings your first box down to $26.22, plus tax (13% HST for Ontario, 5% GST for rest of Canada). Shipping is always free. If you sign up today, your first box will ship August 15th.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Healthy Surprise Review - July 2014 - Healthy Snack Subscription Box + PROMO CODE

This post contains affiliate links.

What is it? Healthy Surprise
How Much? 
  • Starter Box: $40/month + $10 shipping  to Canada
  • Healthy Box $60/month + $14 shipping  to Canada
  • Large Box $95/month + $20 shipping to Canada
What's in it? Full Size healthy snacks. 
  • Starter Box gives 16+ servings, 11+ full size snacks (1-2 people)
  • Big Box gives 32+ servings, 16+ full size snacks (1-4 people)
  • Combo Box gives 48+ servings, 27+ full size snacks (2-6 people)

Healthy Surprise recently offered a promo on Ethical Deal, which lowered to cost of a Healthy Surprise box to $30 with Canadian shipping. I purchased a voucher then signed up. It's been over a year since I last tried Healthy Surprise and I wasn't super impressed last time. Since then, Healthy Surprise merged with Vancouver based healthy snack subscription service Snackbox, and changed their pricing scheme. They also lowered the Canadian shipping fee. I figured this promo was the perfect reason to give Healthy Surprise a second chance.
The $25 gift card is good towards the purchase of a gift subscription. The "STOP eating JUNK" sticker is going somewhere in my kitchen as a reminder! There was no product card. The pamphlet is a recipe for Black Olive Hummus and a "Know your Carbs" fact sheet.

First look

The snacks in Healthy Surprise are always corn free, soy free, gluten free, natural, and vegan friendly.

That's it. Apple Cherry Fruit Bar (1 35g bar,  $1.67)
A fruit bar made with only apples and cherries. That's it. Seriously. That's all that is on the ingredients list.

Go Raw Banana Bread Flax Bar (1 12g bar, $1.19)
Good flavour but strange texture.

Pocket Fuel Energy Shots in Banana Berry and Mocha (2 x 1.15oz, $2.98)
Energy gels for running. I am a runner, so these will be used.

Veggie Pals Carrot Orange Apple Chews (20g, $1.59)
Little gummy chews that would be great for kids... except I ate mine already. They were okay. Not too sweet.

Enjoy Life Plentils in Light Sea Salt (0.8oz, $1.50)
I've received these before and didn't enjoy them so they will be given to someone else.

Harvest Roast Slow Roasted Pumpkin Seeds in Jalapeno (2oz, $2.19)
These will be great as a salad topper.

Home Free Mini Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (.95oz, $1.49)
A sweet treat is always welcome and these are tasty.

Seaweed Love Roasted Seaweed (5g, $1)
I love roasted seaweed and this brand is new to me.

Bella Viva Orchards Apple Slices (3oz,$3)
Apple slices are a great treat so I'm happy with these.

SaMai Plantain Chips in Lime (2.5oz, $2.25)
I gave away the last bag I received so I'm looking forward to trying these.

Smooze Fruit Ice in Coconut & Pink Guava and Coconut & Mango (2 x 64ml cones, $2)
I am most interested in these little guys. With the summer heat, an icy treat is welcome!

The July Healthy Surprise box included 13 items valued at... $20.86. Yup, you read that right. Normally this box costs $40 plus $10 shipping. I paid $30 with shipping using the Ethical Deal voucher. The value received is incredibly low, even at the discounted price I paid. I thought maybe some items were missing, but the box was filled to the top so I don't think that's the case. The products are great. I like that there aren't many sweets or "junk food" snack and there is a good mix of items. I received 11+ products and 16+ servings, as promised, but once again my complaint is in the value. With any subscription box, the value received should at least be equal to the cost paid. Healthy Surprise asks $40 for this box, but only included approximately $20 worth of products. I'm not sure if every box is like this, but I'm not sticking around to find out. I already cancelled my subscription. I am not shelling out $50 each month on a box that gets me a fraction of the value in return. It's insulting.

If for some reason this review made you want to try Healthy Surprise, you can save $10 on your first month by using promo code HSS14.